Researching an online home business is tough these days. It’s not just the ever present scams, it’s detecting them as those who promote them get smarter about how you research opportunities.

The big example is that searching for the opportunity or ebook name plus “scam” is often taken up by people promoting the opportunity. They’ve come to realize that this is a big term people use to check them out, so they try to claim it for themselves on the positive side of things.

These “reviews” can be hard to tell from the real thing. However, if you see a review of an opportunity or ebook starting out with something along the lines of “Is (opportunity) a Scam?” and then go into a glowing review of how it’s not a scam, be wary. Be doubly wary if all they have to say is positive. Just about any opportunity is going to have some negatives. A good review should note these.

Be even more wary if you see more or less the same review on site after site. Odds are it was provided by the business itself and the affiliates or promoters were too lazy to change it for their own sites.

So Where Are the Real Reviews??

Ah, that is the question, isn’t it? And it’s not easy to do sometimes.

Persistence is your #1 tool. Search on the business name. Use the name plus review. Use the name plus scam.

Check the testimonials on the site and see if you can contact the people giving the testimonials. If they have domain names with their testimonials you may be able to find a way to contact them on your own.

A lot of the big launches have big name marketers giving testimonials. That’s nice, but to me it doesn’t prove much of anything. A person who has been having success for a long time is going to see things quite differently from someone just starting out, and what they like may not be as useful to you if you don’t have the background knowledge yet.

Check their contact information and whois. Contact email addresses should be related to their business website in most cases. If you own your domain name, this is easy and comes with the hosting. Whois information can be kept private, but if it shows names and contact information it must be honest.

Read all the fine print, privacy policy, terms of service and so forth. Some sites don’t make it nearly clear enough that there’s a monthly expense for the information or opportunity. You need to know what your real expenses will be.

Try to figure out how it is you will be earning money. Mistrust any opportunity where either that’s not clear or you realize that you’re earning for recruiting rather than selling, especially if you only earn for recruiting.

Check scam.com. You can even check with the BBB, but honestly they have their problems as a resource.

Be wary if the site looks like a newspaper review of the business opportunity. That’s a popular way to present some programs just now, but they really are not news stories. Take a good look and you will realize that pretty much everything clickable on these sites relates to the opportunity being presented.

Ask on any work at home forums you know, such as the one here.

Think about if you can really afford to risk the money. No matter how good the opportunity, even when it is legitimate, you face the risk of failure. Not every person will succeed in any particular business. Sometimes it’s not a good match; other times it’s a scam. Either way, be sure that you can afford the risk.

Will This Guarantee That You Don’t Get Scammed?

Sorry, no, can’t promise you that. But you can cut down the odds that you’ll be scammed, which is a great place to start.

Always remember, be skeptical. Know the difference between home businesses and work at home jobs. Know what’s likely and what’s improbable. Ask questions. Do your due diligence. You are the one responsible for your decision in the long run.

And if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is!